Extension and Innovation

Effective approaches and instruments for research and innovation for sustainable agrifood systems

The traditional linear technology transfer model has limited effectiveness in promoting the uptake of technologies and innovations. It fails to account for complexity within the agri-food system, is too simplistic and does not fully consider forward and backward feedback loops in the food system or pay adequate attention to context. There is, therefore, an increasing interest in investors and decision-makers making use of alternative instruments (such as innovation platforms or accelerators) to support innovation processes.

CoSAI commissioned this study to answer the following three key questions:
(1) What types of investment instruments have been tested to support innovation in agri-food systems in the Global South, and how can these be categorized into a working typology?
(2) What is the evidence on how well different instruments have supported SAI’s multiple objectives (e.g. social equality and environmental) at scale and what contextual and design factors affect their success or failure in achieving these objectives (e.g. type of value chain, who participates)?
(3) What advice can be given to innovation investors and practitioners about the instruments selected for different objectives and contexts, and how can selected instruments be designed to achieve better impacts?